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Big Ten: Purdue Boilermakers 2013 Season Review
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24 Jan 2014 01:18 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Freshman QB Danny Etling threw 10 TDs to seven INTs. (Image Source: FrankHyatt.com)

Here’s a quick recap of the 2013 Purdue Boilermakers:

Preseason Expectations: Heading into the season, the expectations at West Lafayette were neither high, nor very low. Most saw Purdue competing with Indiana for fourth place in the Leaders Division and to be bowl eligible, or at least flirt with bowl eligibility.  

Overachieve/Underachieve: They didn’t come close to being in bowl contention. At 1-11, 0-8 in the Big Ten, the Boilermakers were historically bad, near the bottom of the barrel in nearly every significant statistical category. Their only win was by six points over FCS Indiana State and they lost seven of their eight conference games by at least two touchdowns.

Pivotal Game: vs. Northern Illinois 55-24. This is when we knew just how bad Purdue was going to be. They played Number 21 Notre Dame tough (31-24) in September and even though they were crushed by Wisconsin (41-10) that might have been a bad matchup. However, when they were embarrassed at home by a MAC school, even a good one, it was telling of the type of season the Boilermakers were headed towards. It was also Danny Etling’s debut, a sign that they were already thinking about 2014.

Leaders Division Reviews: Ohio State | Wisconsin | Penn State | Indiana | Illinois

Offensive MVP: WR DeAngelo Yancey: One of the few bright spots was the emergence of true freshman wide out DeAngelo Yancey, who actually provided Purdue with an offensive spark from time to time. He has good size and flashed the ability to stretch the field. He had three 100-yard games and four catches of at least 45 yards. It’s hard to ignore his 17.1 yards per catch average.

Defensive MVP: CB Ricardo Allen: Not just their best defensive player, Ricardo Allen was hands down Purdue’s best player on either side of the ball in 2013.  A rare cover corner, Allen’s skills were mostly wasted in West Lafayette. When opposing teams have so many potential points of attack a stellar corner can be avoided. He finished his career with a conference-high six interceptions, a forced fumble and four TFLs among his 53 stops.  

Trending: No team in the Big Ten had a bigger drop in win total, as Purdue went from six victories and a bowl appearance in 2012 to a single win in 2013. Going back two seasons, they had 13 wins and a pair of bowl games, so Year 1 of the Darrell Hazell era was a total failure and has Purdue on a downward spiral…a free fall really.

Looking to 2014: They have to be better because…well because, they really can’t be worse. However, how much better can they really be? After winning two games a year ago, Illinois made major strides but still managed just four wins (only conference win over Purdue) this season. Right now, even with a favorable schedule (home games vs. Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Southern Illinois) it’s hard to imagine Purdue winning more than four or five games in 2014. The key will be the progress of QB Danny Etling, as well as other youngsters such as wide outs DeAngelo Yancey and Cameron Posey.

Big Ten Links:

Big Ten Football Final Power Rankings: Michigan State Represents in the Rose Bowl

One-On-One With Penn State Offensive Guard John Urschel

One-On-One: MSU LB Max Bullough Talks About Winning the Big Ten Championship

One-On-One: Michigan State’s Max Bullough Talks Playoffs & Defines Spartan Dawg

Q&A: Iowa’s James Morris Talks About the Perception of the Big Ten & Upcoming Playoffs

Q&A: James Morris Talks About Corralling the Program & New Year’s Day Bowl

Q&A: College Football Hall of Famer Orlando Pace, Ohio State Buckeyes

Q&A: College Football Hall of Famer Percy Snow, Michigan State Spartans

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. 

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